Romney’s 47 Percent Solution

Popular Economics Weekly

We know that Mitt Romney at a Florida fundraiser claimed that there are 47 percent of the people who will vote for President Obama no matter what, and “my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” quoted Mother Jones Magazine in the news coup of the year.

But really, why isn’t he worried about them? Because due to record income inequality, age, the recession, or disabilities, they have the least amount of wealth, and we know he is really about continuing to redistribute the wealth upward since the advent of government-is-the-problem, trickle-down economics of President Reagan.

As the Center for Budget Policy and Priorities has said: “Given all the talk about who does or doesn’t pay federal income taxes and what this means for tax policy, here are a few basic facts.

• The vast majority (83 percent) of households who owe no federal income taxes are either working households that pay payroll taxes (61 percent) or elderly (22 percent).

• The remaining 17 percent of those who don’t pay federal income taxes are mostly those who are not working due to illness or disability, or are in school.

His program, which I call the ’47 percent solution,’ will in fact further impoverish the 47 per cent who don’t pay federal income taxes by continuing to cut back on the federal safety net of social security and Medicare. It does so by adhering to the Republican Party Platform, a combination of his 5-Point Plan and that of Veep candidate Paul Ryan, which is the only Republican budget plan with any detail that was passed by the House.

“House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget plan would get at least 62 percent of its $5.3 trillion in nondefense budget cuts over ten years (relative to a continuation of current policies) from programs that serve people of limited means said the CBPP. “This stands a core principle of President Obama’s fiscal commission on its head and violates basic principles of fairness.”


Whereas the core principal of Republican ideology is that the wealthiest create jobs and so most wealth should flow to them, hence the “trickle-down’ name. But in fact too much debt, both private and public, caused our greatest recession. What built up so much debt? The so-called trickle-down economics of Presidents Reagan and Bush II that ran up the largest budget deficits since World War II with meager economic growth to show for it.

President Clinton even said it at the Democratic convention. Democrats who believe that government has to work for the people have ‘outgrown’ Republican administrations over the past 52 years. “We Democrats think the country works better with a strong middle class, real opportunities for poor people to work their way into it and a relentless focus on the future, with business and government working together to promote growth and broadly shared prosperity. We think ‘we’re all in this together’ is a better philosophy than ‘you’re on your own.’

Who’s right? Well since 1961, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24. In those 52 years, our economy produced 66 million private sector jobs. What’s the jobs score? Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42 million!”

Neither trickle-down economics, nor the wealth redistribution upward that accompanies it have been good for the country, such as Romney’s 47 percent solution.

Harlan Green © 2012

About populareconomicsblog

Harlan Green is editor/publisher of, and content provider of 3 weekly columns to various blogs--Popular Economics Weekly and The Huffington Post
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